also liberalised the interest rate environment with its June and July cuts to give commercial banks more room to set both lending and deposit rates competitively.
The PBOC is not independent, unlike the U.S. Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank, as it needs the cabinet's green-light on key decisions on interest rates and currency, but analysts say it has been gaining more influence on policies. Zhou, who been campaigning for faster interest rate and currency reforms in the past decade, is likely to step down early next year after he was left out of a key policymaking group of the ruling Communist Party.
And Zhou kept up his call for deeper reforms.
On the one hand, we need to maintain a healthy economy, but we also feel deeply that the People's Bank of China must push forward reforms and opening up, Zhou told a financial forum in Beijing.
Without reforms and opening up, economic development and financial stability cannot be sustained and monetary policy transmission mechanisms will not be healthy, he said.
Zhou was pivotal in forging a consensus within the party leadership that led to a landmark revaluation of the yuan in 2005 and a decision in June 2010 to end a two-year peg to the dollar introduced to help China weather the global financial crisis.